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Offbeat News

Indian inventor revs up corona car to drive home lockdown message

New Delhi - A giant coronavirus is stalking the streets of southern India -- propelled by a 100 cc engine and an inventor trying to drive home the message that Indians should stay indoors as the pandemic sweeps across the world.

Bali's miracle: turning wine into hand sanitiser

Bali - Pharmacists on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali are tackling a shortage of anti-coronavirus hand sanitiser by making their own unique, tropical version -- from thousands of litres of fermented palm wine.

Pandas use lockdown privacy to mate after a decade of trying

Fpo - Stuck at home with no visitors and not much else to do, a pair of pandas in Hong Kong finally decided to give mating a go after a decade of dodging the issue.

We don't need no social distance: US police bust Pink Floyd 'corona party'

New York - Partygoers at a Pink Floyd tribute night have been scolded for shouting abuse at New Jersey police after defying social distancing rules brought in to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Florida beach ravers tie with Trump for 'most foolish' during pandemic

Los Angeles - US students who defied coronavirus warnings to keep partying on Florida beaches during their spring break have been crowned the year's "most foolish" Americans in a new survey -- tied with President Donald Trump.

Kiwis cheesed off at surging cauliflower costs

Wellington - The coronavirus pandemic has upended life for billions, but New Zealanders tolerating strict lockdown laws have drawn the line at surging cauliflower prices and are demanding the government act.

Police site crashes as Kiwis turn into shutdown snitches

Wellington - New Zealanders have become so keen to report their neighbours for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules that police on Monday said a website dedicated to addressing the issue crashed soon after going live.

'A stranger stroked my horse' — French police inundated with oddball virus queries

Lyon - "Can my husband spend the weekend with his mistress?" "A stranger stroked my horse, could he have infected it?" France's police emergency number has been inundated with queries, some downright odd, since the country went into coronavirus lockdown.

Taiwan quarantine skipper handed hefty fine for clubbing

Taipei - A man in Taiwan had an expensive night out after he was fined Tw$1 million ($33,000) because he skipped quarantine to go clubbing, authorities said Monday.

Trump says politicians need to shake handshaking habit

Washington - President Donald Trump and Ireland's visiting prime minister, Leo Varadkhar, had a "strange" moment Thursday when it came to the traditional handshake."We looked at each other. We said 'What are we going to do?

Scrapping Japan cherry blossom 'like taking hugs away from Italians': Tokyo gov

Apo - Preventing Japanese from gathering to enjoy cherry blossom season because of coronavirus would be like "taking hugs away from Italians," the governor of Tokyo said on Thursday.

Jill is 'my Secret Service' Biden jokes after wife tackles protestors

Los Angeles - Joe Biden joked that wife Jill was his Secret Service protection after she fought off vegan protestors who stormed the stage as the former vice president was giving a victory speech to supporters.

Trump scoffs at 'Parasite's' Oscar win

Colorado Springs - President Donald Trump on Thursday scorned the best picture Oscar for South Korean film "Parasite," asking how a foreign movie could get the honor."How bad was the Academy Awards this year?

Snake orgy prompts partial closure of Florida city park

Washington - A city in Florida closed off part of a park after residents spotted dozens of snakes which had apparently gathered for their annual coupling.

Aussie croc wrangler joins Indonesia bid to save tyre-tied reptile

Palu - An Australian television personality has thrown his hat in the ring to help capture a giant Indonesian crocodile and remove a motorcycle tyre stuck around its neck.

Pranks and patience: passing the time on the Diamond Princess

Apo - Tai chi, Bible study, karaoke and dancing with the "Dive Duo": that was the entertainment promised passengers when they boarded the Diamond Princess.

Captain, bring me whisky: spirited plea from virus cruise 'prisoner'

Apo - One banana a day, washed down with neat whisky: that's the humble request from a British passenger on the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship off Japan whose Facebook posts have made him an online star.

No takers for Indonesia's 'pluck a tyre off the croc' contest

Palu - Indonesia has called off a contest offering a cash reward to anyone brave enough to remove a motorbike tyre stuck around the neck of a giant crocodile.

Moonstruck: Japan billionaire cancels hunt for lunar love

Apo - A Japanese billionaire who launched a public search for a girlfriend willing to join him on a trip into space abruptly cancelled the hunt on Thursday, despite attracting nearly 30,000 applicants.

Long road to freedom: fugitive giraffe legs it in Thailand

Bangkok - A giraffe that bolted from a convoy destined for a Thai safari park was on the run Wednesday, as vets scoured farmland near the escape zone in an almost 24-hour search gripping the public.

Double trouble: Too many show for Sri Lanka twins record bid

Colombo - A Sri Lankan attempt to set a world record for the largest gathering of twins may have failed Monday after an unexpectedly large turnout overwhelmed organisers who vowed to try again.

Spain's 'drunken gummy bears' on edge as Haribo bares its teeth

Madrid - Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.

Musicians 'play Ghosn' by squeezing into instrument cases in web craze

Apo - Yamaha has warned musicians in Japan against stuffing themselves into their instrument cases to mimic the escape technique allegedly used by fugitive ex-tycoon Carlos Ghosn.

Brazil's education minister mocked for Twitter spelling error

Rio De Janeiro - Brazil's education minister has been ridiculed on social media for making a spelling mistake on Twitter.

White-bearded 'Merry Christmas' bank robber throws cash at passers-by

Washington - A white-bearded man robbed a bank two days before Christmas, but threw the stolen cash in the air and wished passers-by a merry Christmas, US media reported.

Grand Theft Protest: Hong Kongers and Chinese gamers battle online

Fpo - Grand Theft Auto's wildly popular online multiplayer game has become the latest venue for Hong Kong pro-democracy supporters and Chinese nationalists to wage their ideological battles, with protests now breaking out in the virtual world.

Bolivia stuck over ex-president's museum

La Paz - Bolivia's interim government has inherited an unexpected problem since Evo Morales resigned and fled the country: what to do with the former president's $7 million museum.

Boorish boars hog highways in Israel's Haifa

Haifa - A man approaches a group of wild boars rooting up roadside grass in Israel's Haifa, shooing them away -- but after lazily trotting a few steps, they resume their activity.

Banana-eating performance artist was 'hungry'

New York - Performance artist David Datuna waited two hours until "I was hungry" before eating a pricey banana artwork in Miami, he explained with laughter on Monday after returning to New York.

Where's the 'secret' White House Russia room? diplomat jokes

Washington - One of Moscow's top diplomats joked to President Donald Trump on Thursday after touring the White House that he was disappointed not to have seen the "secret" Russia room.
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